Dodd returned to his office and had another look at that memo from the chair. The fact was that without clearing Scott’s funding the university would be hard pressed to attract the sort of PhD students that its mission called for.
There were not a lot of liberal Christian universities in the United States, and this one was the only one that had been founded in the 21st century. Rather than coming out of a denomination it had been funded by an eccentric who’d made his fortune in owning small strip mall properties across Middle America where instead of seeking out check cashing businesses and liquor stores he’d ensured each complex had two things.
1 a store where the neighborhood could get fresh fruit and vegetables even if it was at a loss
2 at reduced rents he ensured that there was space for a church or other religious community
While not a huge fortune, the founder had provided a significant endowment when he passed away, and there was ongoing income from the strip malls that the university had also inherited.
The University’s brief was to train Christians to “Tend God’s Earthly Garden” and “His Flocks”
Which created the unique junction of land management and a divinity school. Graduate students were required to take nine credit hours’ worth of coursework in the other school. And many occupied a strange middle ground, as did Scott.